28th September, 2017
39 candidates have registered on the first day of registration to contest Tongatapu’s 10 constituencies in the November 16 General Election, while more are expected to register tomorrow, the final day of nominations.
The Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva is running again contesting his seat in Tongatapu 1.
Out of the candidates for Tongatapu, 11 women candidates had completed their nominations this morning, but there could have been others who later came in the afternoon. Matangi Tonga has photographed candidates who were found at the registration office.
The nominations was held from 10:00am to 3:00pm throughout Tonga when candidates paid $400 each, and presented not less than 50 signatures from registered voters from their constituencies, among other requirements.
Supervisor of Elections Pita Vuki said the candidates for the outer islands of Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua and the two Niuas would be confirmed on Thursday, September 28, when the numbers come into the Electoral Commission.
Once the nominations close, it is expected that candidates will draw their numbers that will appear on the ballot papers and a full candidates list will be announced.
In the meantime, some of the current People’s Representatives and Cabinet Ministers who will join the contest include the Minister for Public Enterprises Hon Poasi Tei for Tongatapu 6, Hon Semisi Fakahau, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries for Tongatapu 8 and Penisimani Fifita, the Minister for Education for Tongatapu 9, among others.
Current People’s Representative ‘Aisake Eke for Tongatapu 5, will run again.
In the last 2014 General Election 106 candidates, including 16 women, contested the 17 People’s Representative seats in parliament, .
[Source: Matangi Tonga online, 27th September 2017]